A look back at our 20 years


Wye River Upper School Founded by Chrissy Aull and Patricia McGlannan

As their 8th-grade children approach middle school graduation, Chrissy Aull and Patricia McGlannan find themselves in a predicament. They don't know which high school will serve their unique children best. There are no specialty high schools from the Eastern Shore to Baltimore to serve their children with ADHD and Anxiety, so Chrissy and Patricia decide to create the school themselves.

Beginning with nine students, three teachers, and two administrators, Wye River Upper School opens at Chesapeake College. Renting classroom space in the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center affords them use of the college's sports fields and library.

The journey to changing the lives of hundreds of students who learn differently begins!

  • 13 students served from 2002–2003
  • 195 students served from 2002–2008


Wye River Upper School's First Graduating Class

Wye River Upper School holds its first Commencement Ceremony at Chesapeake College with a graduating class of five students, May 2003.

In WRUS' history, we've seen almost 20 graduating classes - take a look at some of our graduations!


WRUS Begins Looking for a New Home

Wye River Upper School realizes it needs a new home. With six potential sites to visit, the Board of Trustees determines the historic and abandoned Centerville National Guard Armory is the right location.

A $1,000,000 grant from The State of Maryland kicked off the Capital Campaign to purchase the building.


WRUS Purchases Centreville National Guard Armory Building for School Expansion and Receives First AIMS Accreditation

Wye River Upper School receives enough funding to purchase the Armory building and begins the remodeling work.

Wye River Upper School also earns its first AIMS (Association of Independent Maryland Schools) accreditation.

  • 11 graduates in Class of 2010
  • 272 Students served from 2002–2010


The Kathleen White Chapter National Honor Society is Established

Wye River Upper School offers students the opportunity to participate in the National Honor Society (NHS).

Students selected to be a part of the NHS are held to a standard of exemplary grades, good citizenship, service, and leadership.

  • 15 graduates in Class of 2012
  • 318 students served from 2002–2012


The Doors to Wye River Upper School Open at the Centreville National Guard Armory Building

By the time the doors open at the Armory, the Capital Campaign raised $5,500,0000 towards $6,000,000. The building transforms from an abandoned historical site to a pristine school through a determined vision and an architect with the heart and willpower to help renovate. The Armory is now home to Wye River Upper School, with intact historical integrity.

  • 7 graduates in Class of 2014
  • 408 students served from 2002–2014


MakerSpace is Established

Wye River Upper School searches for a way to offer more hands-on learning opportunities for our students. Through a generous grant from the Middendorf Foundation, the school purchases a home next to the historic Armory turned school building and begins work to transform the family home into a MakerSpace for students.

  • 10 graduates in Class of 2017
  • 327 students served from 2002–2017


MakerSpace Opens Its Doors

Wye River Upper School opens the doors to the Middendorf MakerSpace!

The MakerSpace offers students the opportunity to build, create, design, and learn through hands-on learning and real-life problem-solving. Students learn woodworking, metalworking, culinary skills, sewing, laser cutting, 3D printing, and much more in this space.

The Middendorf MakerSpace would not be possible without the generosity of The Middendorf Foundation, Grayce B. Kerr Fund, Inc., and the individual supporters of Wye River Upper School.

  • 12 graduates in Class of 2019
  • 668 students served from 2002–2019


January: Chrissy Aull Announces Retirement

After 18 years of building and evolving Wye River Upper School, Chrissy Aull announces her retirement as the Head of School.

She remains a beloved member of our community.


March: COVID - WRUS Goes Remote

Our in-person learning had to transition to virtual education during the global pandemic, so our staff worked quickly and innovatively to build virtual classrooms that worked for our unique students.

  • 8 graduates in Class of 2020
  • 738 students served from 2002–2020


Stephanie Borges Folarin Announced As New Head of School

After an extensive executive leadership search, Stephanie Borges Folarin is named the new Head of School starting in the 2021-2022 school year.

When she discovered Wye River Upper School, Stephanie says it was her "dream school" come to life.

Her extensive experience in special education, curriculum design, and program enhancement make her the perfect leader to steer the school into the future. In addition to her strong background in education, Stephanie brings a passionate heart for students with learning differences - as well as a fresh perspective to our school's path forward. Her contagious positivity and energy continue to bring Wye River to new heights.

  • 11 graduates in Class of 2021
  • 797 students served from 2002–2021


18 Graduates in the Class of '22

The Class of 2022 marks the 19th graduating class at Wye River Upper School - and the largest graduating class to date!

  • 827 total students served across 20 years